Among the dignitaries present at Aretha Franklin’s funeral was Louis Farrakhan—the viciously anti-Semitic leader of the Nation of Islam—who was seated just a few chairs away from Bill Clinton. Jonathan Tobin notes that, at a time when there seems to be so much outrage directed at those deemed guilty by association, there seemed to be very little reserved for those who associate with Farrakhan:
You don’t have to have much of an imagination to ponder what would happen if [the former Ku Klux Klan leader, and current white supremacist, David] Duke received a similar place of honor at a funeral for a famous singer. Or the storm that would follow if a former GOP president were to share a platform with Duke, or, as Clinton did with Farrakhan, shake his hand. That would have been the only story coming out of such an event, dwarfing the coverage that Franklin’s funeral or even John McCain’s funeral received. But that didn’t happen when Clinton treated Farrakhan as just another friend of Franklin’s who deserved respect last Friday. . . .
The only explanation is that, for many in the media and the liberal political establishment, hate coming from a black or Islamic group or individual is somehow less odious than hate from white supremacists—even if their rhetoric is remarkably similar. This may stem in part from the bogus theory about prejudice that holds that it’s impossible for blacks or anyone without power to be guilty of racism. But the problem goes deeper than that absurd assertion. Hate from any source that can’t be identified as somehow tied to conservatives or President Trump is simply of no interest to the political left these days. . . .
[Furthermore], whatever they may think of Trump, the mainstream media should not excuse Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism and hatred for whites or pretend that it’s a result of a misunderstanding. The Franklin funeral may be dismissed as a meaningless media event with no [larger] impact. But the truth is that it was a major triumph for Farrakhan and his efforts to bring his message of Jew-hatred into the mainstream. The willingness of the networks to ignore Farrakhan’s hate along with the ability of figures such as Clinton and Stevie Wonder [who took part in a documentary about Farrakhan] to embrace him with impunity allows the virus of hate to spread. A society in which Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism is normalized, as it was last week, is one in which Jews cannot claim to be entirely safe.